Recycling at BCC

Zero Waste

Berkshire Community College has a goal of Zero Waste by the year 2020. Zero Waste involves long-term planning of campus activities, practices and policies which reduce the amount of waste materials going into the landfill through reduction of use, reuse and recycling of materials.

Our current recycling rate is up to 75%, which means three-quarters of our waste is being diverted from trash through re-use, recycling, and composting. We could actually be the first college to get to the point where we no longer need large trash dumpsters!

Your participation is essential in helping the College reach this goal. For waste reduction tips, visit The Center for EcoTechnology.

What Can I Recycle?

You can recycle plastic, aluminum, tin, plastic, and glass bottles, as well as fairly clean plastic food containers (such as yogurt cups). There are dozens of "bottle and can" recycling bins across campus.

Bottle & Can Recycling BinPlastic

  • Plastic containers with the #1–7 symbols (you may leave caps on bottles)
  • Plastic grocery bags with the #2 and #4 symbols — includes milk jugs, water bottles, detergent & shampoo bottles, butter tubs, plastic yogurt cups, microwave food trays, plant flats, flower pots, etc. 
  • DO NOT RECYCLE: Bottles that contained automotive fluids orhazardous materials; styrofoam cups, plates, peanuts, packaging, etc.; plastic bags such as garbage, food storage, drycleaning, etc.; or plastic film
  • Preparation:
      • Wash all food residue, heavy soil, grease or soapy liquids from containers
      • Bags must be clean & dry — all paper and receipts must be removed

4 Recycling BinsGlass

  • You may recycle clear, brown, green and blue glass bottles and jars.
  • DO NOT RECYCLE: Dishes or ceramics, light bulbs, broken windows, or mirrors
  • Preparation:
      • Remove lids and discard
      • Rinse clean
      • Remove any metal rings, plastic or foam labels (paper labels do not need to be removed)

Blue ToterPaper

  • You may recycle computer paper (all colors), fax paper, carbonless forms, shredded paper, envelopes (windows are OK), post-it notes, junk mail (remove plastic contents), newspapers & magazines, boxboard (e.g. tissue boxes) and flatboard (such as cereal boxes), paper bags, phone books (remove cover), and text books. Staples, paper clips and rubber bands are AOK! 
  • DO NOT RECYCLE: Paper ream wrappers, 3-ring binders (reuse), plastic of any type, paper towels, tissues, napkins, or paper cups.

There are several hundred paper recycling bins around campus.

Corrugated Cardboard

Please DO NOT put corrugated cardboard in recycling bins. Staff and faculty should flatten corrugated cardboard boxes and place in designated areas in the hallways. (Note, corrugated cardboard is not the same as cereal box "flatboard," which can be recycled with office paper.)

Other Items

For questions about recycling other items such as cell phones and ink cartridges, contact Jamie Cahillane at the Center for EcoTechnology.

What Can I Compost?

BCC Cafeteria Compostable ItemsComposting is a system that utilizes natural processes to decompose organic materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead, keeping these materials out of landfills. Compost can be added to soil to help plants grow. 

Look for the gray "Food Waste" toters in the cafeteria and the green bins in the Field Administration building. Compostable bins are also available in the newly renovated Hawthorne and Melville buildings.

Please compost:

  • All food
  • Food-soiled uncoated paper (paper cups & plates, paper towels, napkins, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, wax paper/cartons, pizza boxes)
  • Low Grade Paper (tissue paper, tissues, straw wrappers, paper sugar packets)
  • Compostable plastics — look for the words “PLA” or “Compostable” to identify compostable plastics.
  • Plants
  • Almost all of the items used in the BCC Cafeteria are compostable — see the photo above!